Awesome sprites by *Nothofagus-obliqua
Please do not ask! I hate saying no, but I really don't have time for any of these right now.
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I didn't want to spam everyone with a Christmas journal, but I hope that all of those who celebrate a holiday (or even who, like me, just take some time off) had a fantastic time!
I wanted to take a little bit of time to talk about some of the things that have inspired me in my artistic journeys. When I first started out drawing, my work was terrible; it looked like a Jackson Pollock painting and a Pablo Picasso painting got together and had a mutated, retina-burning lovechild. Luckily, though, I had a lot of fantastic inspirations to help me grow and improve, as well as to drive my subject matter, style, and settings. And I hope that it will continue in the future, too. There is still much to explore and improve on.
I have listed some of my favourite or most influential inspirations in chronological order, and have included a few features for each one. I am purposely leaving out inspirational artists (both on and off DA) for now. I plan to have a separate feature for them later!
Real Life: Cats
When I was very young, I lived in a fairly backwater area where there were no other kids in my neighborhood. My pet cats were my best friends and playmates, so it was only natural that they were the first things that I began to draw. Any unattended piece of paper around my house would end up with a (poorly rendered) feline doodled on it somewhere, and cats continued to be my favourite subjects for many, many years.
TV and Movies: Disney
While other studios and sources probably share in the blame (Don Bluth, I'm looking at YOU), Disney's animated TV shows are the main reason that I began creating more anthropomorphic animal characters. Until then, I had mainly drawn natural animals, the most "anthro" of which were on par with Benji or Jack London's Buck. Disney's after-school cartoon line-up featured a bevvy of anthro animals: classic Mickey Mouse, Gummi Bears, Chip and Dale, Ducktales, Darkwing, and, my favourite, Talespin.
Video Games: Final Fantasy (and other RPGs)
Well, I hate to say it, but one of my biggest influences from pre-adolescence until, uh, probably today was (is) the RPG genre in video games. The Final Fantasy series in particular is what got me interested in fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction. It also encouraged me to create characters and worlds that were more than just pretty pictures; they needed a reason for being, a story. There are still elements that crop up my art and writing today, even if some of them are fairly subtle. Those floating islands in the background of some of my sketches, for example... Nope, not Avatar-inspired. Chrono Trigger did it first!
Real Life: Rats
I regularly get comments asking if I am inspired by the Secret of NIMH or Redwall series (or, occasionally, one of the other many, many book series written about rodents). To the former, maybe a little. To the latter, not much at all. The main motivation behind including rats in my work is, unsurprisingly, actually keeping the little guys as pets! I ran what was effectively a "rat rescue" out of my house during high school and college, where I took in people's unwanted pet rats and sometimes managed to even rehome them. They wound up being the most affectionate, intelligent, clean, and fun little creatures that I have ever had. How could I not include them in my art?
Video Games: Okami, Assassin's Creed, and Others
Besides RPGs, I have also found other types of games to be inspiring, mainly in the art styles and character traits. The concept work in particular for games such as Assassin's Creed, Castelvania, Okami, and Epic Mickey really invite me to think creatively about setting and world design. I find that they encourage me to think as much about the backgrounds as the subjects of my art.
Real Life: Ships
I occasionally get questions about how I came up with the characters, setting, and plot for Pull Down Heaven and its related art. This one is fairly straightforward. I spent some time in the navy, on board a ship, and all of the places, characters, and events are bastardizations of my experiences there.
So what inspires you guys, other than other artists?
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